Achilles and Patroclus

Author's Note: For the anon who wanted a historical AU, but more specifically for fellowshipofthegay @ Tumblr who suggested Alexander.

***

They called him the Lion of Macedon, Great King of Persia, conqueror of the world, Iason ho Mégas, and whispered that he had gods' blood in his veins, but to Alexandros, he would always be the boy with wheat-blonde hair and unforgettable eyes, whose friendship, whose love, had been the best, most unexpected gift he'd ever gotten.

When his father had sent him to court to join the young prince's entourage, Alékos had expected a spoiled brat, surrounded by sycophants. The latter had been true, to an extent, but not by Iason's choosing, and his group of confidants consisted of boys and young men of whose loyalty there was no doubt.

To find himself part of that inner circle had been an unexpected boon for Alékos, who'd always been made to feel as if he wasn't quite good enough. However, Iason had come across him practising with his bow and arrow the morning after his arrival at court in Pella - actually, Alékos had almost shot him. Instead of chastising him or sending him home for almost killing the heir to the throne, the prince grinned and challenged Alékos to see who'd hit more targets, Alékos with his bow or Iason with a javelin. After that they were friends, falling into an easy rapport unlike anything Alékos had ever experienced before.

A couple of years later the King sent them to Mieza to study under Aristotle, and it was there that, late one night, when Alékos was about to leave Iason's room and find his bed in the chamber he shared with the other boys, Iason grabbed his hand and pulled him down onto his bedstead. Alékos stared at him, wide-eyed, heart beating wildly, but as always he followed Iason's lead, hardly believing his secret dreams were about to come true. They fell into a kiss that started shy and ended with two bodies grinding against each other until Iason spread his thighs and Alékos spilled himself between them.

After Iason, too, had reached his climax in Alékos still-trembling hand, the prince had smiled, boneless and lazy in a way that stood in complete contradiction to his usual focused energy. It was this quality that made him excel at everything he put his mind to, but Alékos secretly thought he'd never been more beautiful than in this moment. Still, he hadn't been able to completely suppress his troubled thoughts, and Iason's sharp eyes penetrated his facade as easily as always. "What's the matter, Alékos? Do you regret this? You know there's no shame in it. Just think of Achilles and Patroclus, of the Sacred Band of Thebes."

Alékos had smiled despite himself. "Of course you'd bring up Achilles. You don't have to emulate your precious hero in everything, you know." Then he sobered, gathering his courage before continuing, "I've dreamed of this. But, Iason, you're the crown prince - and you just let me… let me..."

He blushed furiously, unable to say the actual words, but he didn't need to, understanding blooming on Iason's handsome face. "Oh, that!" He waved his hand airily, completely unconcerned. "I don't mind being your erastês, I liked it. Only you're worried what people will think because you're older than I am."

Shamefacedly, Alékos nodded, admitting in a small voice, "I liked it, too." Iason's pleased grin, as if he'd just won a battle, sent sparks of heat through him, and he leaned down to follow the irresistible invitation of those smiling lips. It was a while before they parted long enough for him to continue, "You can be erômenos from now on, though. I don't care if people laugh at me - they already do that anyway."

It was a half-truth at best, people's petty remarks never failing to sting, yet Iason's regard was more than armour enough. Especially if it was full of love and warmth, his body firm against him, his hands tracing idle patterns over Alékos' bare back, his laughter fond. "Alékos, even if they know that we're lovers, no one knows who plays what role. Let them think what they will, they do that with Achilles, too - and we can take turns, if that makes you feel better."

As always Alékos had followed Iason's lead, and over the years it had become easier to ignore the nasty whispers. He knew that his place in Iason's heart was secure, and to others he proved himself in countless battles. He might favour the bow, which many called a coward's weapon, but several scars bore witness to his dedication to keeping his prince, and later his king, safe. He also discovered that he had a talent for diplomacy and used it to further Iason's ambitious vision of extending his empire to the edges of the world, until all except the most envious had to admit that he deserved his place by the Great King's side.

Even the red-headed Bactrian princess Iason eventually fell in love with had to accept it, and they came to an uneasy truce, agreeing that their shared love for the king outweighed their jealousy. It helped, of course, that Iason still asked Alékos to stay with him some nights, especially when they were on the campaign and the anticipation of battle had him too keyed up to find rest. Alékos lived for those nights, loved the way Iason gave himself fully and without reservations, shed the mantle of power that lay so heavy on him these days and became once again the charismatic boy-man Alékos had fallen in love with.

Their days were filled with politics and bloodshed, but none of that mattered when he lost himself in the welcome heat of Iason's body. They had dismissed the royal pages, and the bodyguards outside were used to the sounds that escaped the tent, the sighs and groans and shared laughter, although they would probably have been scandalised to know that more often than not it was Iason who spread his thighs. It simply worked out that way, Iason giving up the control he had to hold on so tightly during the day as Alékos prepared him with oil-slick fingers, covered him in kisses until he was shaking and begging, "Now, please, now… or do I have to order you, Alexandros?"

Alékos laughed at that, his voice dark and hungry. "I obey you in everything, but here and now you're not my king; you're just Iason, my Achilles."

"Alékos, my Patroclus… without you, I'd be lost, just as Achilles was lost at Troy." Iason was always an inspired orator, but these heartfelt confessions in the dark were only for Alékos' ears, and he caught Iason in a fierce kiss that left them both breathless. Then they were finally joined, tenderness replaced by a passion that hadn't abated much since Mieza. Alékos wrapped his still-slick hand around Iason and coaxed him over the edge into oblivion, slowing his movements while he watched the beautiful sight of his beloved losing himself for a few precious moments. All too soon those strange, enchanting eyes, which people said were a sure sign of the gods' favour, opened again and fixed themselves on Alékos impatiently. "What are you waiting for? A sign from Zeus?"

"A sign from you," Alékos corrected, but he did grip Iason's thighs, hefting them up, and then began to move again. He himself didn't enjoy so much stimulation after his climax, but Iason loved nothing more than being filled completely, his hips lifting to meet Alékos' thrusts. Their hands met over his head, gripping each other as tightly as their bodies did, and Alékos stared down at his beloved's shining face until pleasure overtook him and he spilled himself with a long groan.

Iason held him through it with a tenderness few ever got to see, and when he came back to himself, their lips met in a kiss as sweet as the Persian delicacies Alékos secretly liked so much. When it ended, he made to get up but was ordered curtly to stay put, and Iason himself got a cool cloth and wiped them both down. Still feeling warm and lazy, Alékos was more than happy to let himself be tended to for once, tugging Iason back into his arms once he was done.

"Aristotle must have been right," Iason, his head pillowed against Alékos' shoulder, quietly broke the sleepy silence that had settled over them. At Alékos quizzical hum, he explained, "About two people sharing one soul. I never feel like this with anyone else, only with you, and it was always like that, right from the start. I think our souls must have recognised each other, and now they're trying to become one again."

It was as good an explanation as any, Alékos figured and pressed a gentle kiss against Iason's temple. Tomorrow they would go into battle again, Iason ho Mégas once more the shining beacon for thousands of soldiers who would follow him to the ends of the earth. As always, Alékos would be one of them, fighting by his king's side until his last breath. If Iason was right, hopefully their souls would meet again on the Elysian Fields, but for now his beloved was safe in his arms, his gift from the gods.

***

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